The Presidency has described as mere speculations the reported planned imposition of visa restrictions on some African and Asian countries including Nigeria by America’s government led by President Donald Trump.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Some local traditional media organisations including online publications quoted foreign media outfits on Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration had concluded plans to add seven countries across the world, including Nigeria, to the country’s travel ban list.
The affected countries included Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea from Africa while Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from Eastern Europe and Myanmar from Asia.
The presidential aide, however, said: ”Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media.
”We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react.”
The Ebonyi state Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of a 75-year-old woman from Lassa fever infection.
According to the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, the victim was brought to the state university teaching hospital 10 days ago with symptoms similar to malaria.
It added that she started vomiting blood which raised concerns of the likelihood that she had been infected of the hemorrhagic viral disease.
“Sample was taken to Virology centre at Abakaliki Ebonyi state and it was confirmed to be positive of Lassa fever. Unfortunately the patient died yesterday.
“The State Ministry of Health Public Head Department with the ESUTH Parklane management has stepped up action to decontaminate all sections of the hospital that the patient was managed including the ICU unit.”
The statement added that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had been contacted and are making every arrangement to send in some health materials to support the State’s Ministry of Health.
“Arrangement is been made to safely bury the corpse immediately because of the public health implications.”
The state’s public health institute urged people to observe universal health precautions especially washing of hands with soaps at all times, avoid eating rats or the likes as well as avoiding drinking raw garri because of the vector that transmit the disease.
The virus has already claimed three lives in Kano, one in Abia and 16 people in Ondo state.
The EFCC boss who was in Ibadan to inspect the new recruits of the commission at the state zonal office on Wednesday, stressed that the raid on the nightclubs is based on credible intelligence gathered.
“It is not about nightclub, raiding of nightclub is left to the police, we don’t have much power, and we will go there when we are sure it is the fraudsters.
“We are not raiding nightclub, we are going after the yahoo yahoo boys and we always do that when we have a credible intelligence.”
He added that the fraudsters are small boys and need the support of everybody to rehabilitate them.
“What we will do is that we have to collaborate to rehabilitate them into the society. These are small boys who are intelligent, they can be useful.
“There are a lot of fraudsters who have made millions, we can find a way to bring them back so they can be better citizens tomorrow,” he said.
When billionaire businessman, late Ignatius Odunukwe opened a real estate discussion with Daniel Ibeaji late in 2019, the intention was to make it a profitable venture for both parties.
Little did Mr. Odunukwe know that the deal would have led to his death.
With the deal put at several millions of naira, both parties agreed to meet at a designated hotel in Lagos where all the paperwork were to be finalised.
Mr Odunukwe never made it back thus prompting his family to report his disappearance to the police.
The police immediately sprang into action and after three weeks of investigations, a shocking revelation was made.
A squad of killers was arrested by the zonal police and they confessed to murdering the businessman.
The four-man gang which includes Daniel Ibeaji, 42, Solomon Cletus, 30, Arinze Igwe, 26, and Israel Obigaremu, 35, also led security operatives to the location where they dumped the billionaire’s body.
According to the police, the suspects who were arrested in Abuja and Lagos were led by a medical practitioner.
I think I am a Monster
Daniel Ibeaji the kingpin of the four-man gang that killed Mr Ignatius Odunukwe said on Tuesday that the lust for money led him to commit the murder.
“I think I am a monster, I feel I am a monster,” Ibeaji said while confessing to the crime.
While speaking to newsmen during the parade of suspects at the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, in Lagos, Ibeaji, who claimed to be a medical doctor said, “Unnecessary lust for money and my greed for immaterial things clouded my judgement and made me commit the crime.
Revealing how he lured Odunukwe to his death, Ibeaji said that in 2019, he saw an advert for the sale of a property at Katampe, Abuja.
He added that he approached the security who linked him up with the deceased through his cell phone number.
“I told him I was interested in the property and I think he (the deceased) had a function in Abuja at that time so we were able to meet once in the city.
“We later met again at Atican Beach Resort, Ajah in Lagos State, on Dec. 1, 2019, where we discussed after which I murdered him with the help of two of my gang members,” Ibeaji said.
Ibeaji said that he met Cletus when he was remanded at Kuje Prison, Abuja and discussed the dealings with him which he promised to help out with.
“I lured Odunukwe into my hotel room through N900million business deal I was pretending to go along with.
“With the help of Igwe and Cletus, I was able to distract him and hit him on the head using the butt of an axe.
“After then, I injected him twice with shots from a lethal injection. His body was later cut into pieces and dumped somewhere at Ogombo Forest, in Ajah,” he said.
Cletus whom he met at the prison said that he was lured into the act with the promise of N2 million loan to be given to him if he would participate in the evil plan.
Ibeaji said that Igwe, who was a staff member of the resort was the one responsible for navigating the culprits’ successful exit from the hotel because of his knowledge of its layout.
A serial killer exposed
Speaking on the incident, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Ahmed Iliyasu of Zone 2 Command, Onikan, told journalists during the parade that two similar incidents had been established against Ibeaji in the past.
“The first was in Bayelsa State, where one Depologa was murdered and his remains were found along the Abuja Expressway.
“The second is the case of Jude Efulue, a property developer in Abuja, whom he held captive in an apartment and forced him to sign a document transferring the ownership of the victim’s property to him.
“He almost killed Efulue but the intervention of Efulue’s neighbour led to Ibeaji’s apprehension by the police which landed him in Kuje Prison,” the AIG said.
Mr Iliyasu advised the public to be careful about what their social media posts, stressing that there is a sophisticated dimension that has been introduced into cybercrime.
He revealed that the only way to escape the predators online is to abstain from flaunting one’s achievements and wealth all over social media.
The police boss warned criminals to desist from their nefarious activities, noting that the Zone 2 Command which comprises of Lagos State and Ogun had no space for hoodlums to incubate and hibernate.
The AIG said that the suspects would be charged to court and made to face the full wrath of the law.
Mr Odunukwe was a renowned billionaire from Anambra who was into property development. He was also the owner of Fireman Generators.
The victim’s brother, Mr Tony Odunukwe said the family has accepted their fate.
Describing the incident as unfortunate, the family spokesman said their only hope is to see the law take its full course.
“Whatever the law says, what can we do?” he questioned.
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has called for dialogue over the South-West Security Network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun.’
Tinubu in a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday called for “private discussion between the Governors of the South-west and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami.”
He lamented that too much energy has been spent distorting the issue instead of seeking a resolution.
He said the foundation of the country had however not been put at risk with the security outfit but warned that, that fabric could be torn by what he called the “dangerous rhetoric of those who should know better.”
“Those claiming that this limited, inoffensive addition to security threatens the Republic have taken themselves upon a madcap excursion.
“Those claiming that the Federal Government seeks to terribly suppress the Southwest have also lost their compass. Those who occupy these two extremes have sunken into the dark recesses of fear and political paranoia that can undo a nation if such sentiments are allowed to gestate.
“This issue has dominated recent discourse and media headlines. Distilled to its basics, it concerns how best state governments can assist with the safety and security of their residents. This is a matter of serious concern entitled to sober thought. However, it has been turned into a political tug-of-war. Fierce, often unthinking rhetoric, for and against, has crossed the lips of too many Nigerians. More subjective talking than objective thinking has been the fuel of this outburst.
“Question those in favour of Amotekun. Most have but the vaguest notion about it. They know few details yet vigorously attribute to its opponents the most negative intentions. Ask those who oppose Amotekun. They are equally ignorant of its provisions. They oppose the initiative not on its merits but merely because it was proposed by their political opponents or because they don’t see an avenue for personal gain from it.
“While colourful, the rhetoric has been disconcerting. How people have mishandled this matter demonstrates that we still have far to go in perfecting this democracy. Too much energy has been spent distorting this issue instead of seeking a resolution that supports the local enhancement of security while keeping the constitution intact. If this becomes the standard for how we handle disagreements then we will obscure Nigeria’s path forward with our own rubbish,” the statement read in part.
Tinubu said further that he does not see malign intent in the differences of opinion between the South-West Governors as authors of Amotekun and the Attorney-General as the primary law enforcement officer of the Federal Government.
“Shorn of the overly dramatic language, what lies before us is but a step in the evolution of our federalism. This is an opportunity to more clearly define that federalism; but one cannot attain this better, more functional definition through overblown, emotional language. Objectivity and calmness are required. To a significant degree, the enduring quality of our republic will be established by the sagacity with which we handle disagreements regarding the division of power between federal and state governments. Such disagreements are inevitable. This is not the first. Nor will it be the last. We must devote our energies more toward solving problems rather than amplifying them.
“Seeking to fulfill their mandates by helping protect their people, the governors of the Southwest collectively established a program to buttress existing security mechanisms. Seeking to protect the constitution as best he could, the Attorney-General offered his opinion on what he believed the governors have sought to do. No one can blame either party for seeking to fulfill what they genuinely see as their public duty.
“Until now, I have deliberately maintained a studied silence regarding Amotekun. Many have tried to goad my swift public reaction. Those who have taken this road did so not because they care about Amotekun or even the people it intends to help protect. They did so knowing this had become a delicate and emotional issue for many. These cynics did so with the adversarial hope that, in haste, I might misspeak or misstep in a manner they could twist to their political advantage.
“Such people are possessed of a mercenary aspect that permits them to sacrifice almost anything, even jeopardise the very foundations of our political unity, if they might exact personal gain from the upheaval. In that they know no nobler purpose than their own appetites, we should feel sorry for them. However, we must not allow our sympathies for their barren condition to persuade us that there is worth in their destructive misconduct. They must be left to the consequences of their own devices.
Tinubu added that a political leader which he is often described, he does not the luxury of hasty, ill-conceived utterances.
“I believe in this nation and its benign prospects. I dearly love its people, all of them. Over the years of our existence, they have suffered much. Yet they still hold forth with heroic patience and an extraordinary optimism born of strong faith. To these people, I owe my best. I shall not treat them cheaply or bandy their emotions like some errant football. The welfare of these good and decent people is my overriding concern.
“Equally, I do not cow to the demands of those who press for me to make a premature statement on an important issue. Again, that is a game devised by those who care more about political cleverness than the quality of governance. I chose to talk when my position has been made ripe by a collection of the facts and a reasonable assessment of those facts.
“As I view it, this matter can be divided in three major parts: 1) Substantive merits of Amotekun, 2) Decision-making and consultative process and 3) Recommendations on the way forward.”
Though some are of the opinion that the initiative is a welcomed one which shows that the yearnings of Nigerians have prevailed, there are others who are afraid that if allowed to operate, Amotekun could turn out to be a disaster for the country.
Taking sides with those who think Amotekun could breed more trouble than it has come to solve, Dr. Sufi argued that an initiative of this magnitude can only be established within the prism of the law.
The former Kano State Commissioner for Education noted that there is a likelihood for ‘ethnic bigots, people minded people and politicians’ to take over what would have been the responsibility of constituted governments.
“You run the danger of establishing a monster which at the end of the day you may find very difficult to control,” he stressed.
As far as Dr. Sufi is concerned the Southwest Security Network is illegal. He argues that there is no law that established Amotekun and there is no framework of its operations, adding that nobody knows what arms its operatives will bear.
Dr Sufi said though no one is comfortable with the performance of the police and the security situation at the moment, still, it is not in the nation’s best interest to have initiatives that are not in line with the law.
He advised the Federal Government to take greater initiatives by increasing the number of trained policemen in the Force and ensure that those who are there are well equipped to do the job.